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Posts Tagged ‘Are all home watch people insured’


Pelican Bay – Naples, FL – Should you hire a home watch service when you are not in residence in Pelican Bay? How do you hire a home watch service? Today I’d like to share an experience I recently had with a resident of Pelican Bay.  This resident rents her unit out in season.  She tries to enjoy her unit when she can out of season.  Her tenants left in May and she arrived at her condo the beginning of September.  She employs a person to come in and check her unit every week when tenants are not in residence.

I know this woman well.  Five minutes after she entered her unit, she called me sobbing that her unit was full of mold.  I raced over to the unit and when I opened the front door, I was thrown back by the smell of mold.  All the cloth fabrics in the unit were damp; the couches, bed spreads, drapes etc.  I immediately went to the air handler and found a pitch black air filter.  I then started looking for a leak.  While I was there her home watch person came into the unit.  He told her that he was just in the unit the day before and there had been no issues.

I referred the women to an environmental specialist.  This is a person who comes into a unit to determine the origin of the mold. Once the origin of the mold is discovered and the type of mold is determined, the specialist writes up a work order for a mold remediator.  The specialist determined that the thermostat in this woman’s unit had been left had been set to the FAN ON setting  NOT the auto cool setting.  He told her for the level of mold that was in the unit, the fan setting must have been set wrong for months.  One would think that her home watch person would have seen the settings on the thermostat were incorrect.  One also wonders if this particular home watch person ever entered the unit since May considering the smell of the mold and the black spots that had appeared on the furniture.

To make a sad story short, the mold remediation cost just under $10,000.00.  This cost does not include the cost of new furniture, carpeting, beds, bedding etc.  The home watch person for this unit was not insured. Home owners insurance did not cover this disaster either.

I am in and out of condos almost everyday previewing units for potential buyers.

I had another experience in a  condo where they use a home watch person.  When I walked into the unit, I noticed how hot the unit was. The fans were all off!  I checked the air handler and the filter was filthy.  The thermostat read 87 degrees!  When the home watch person was called, they said they had just been in the unit the day before and didn’t notice any problems.

Another condo I was in recently had all the fans off and the thermostat read 84 degrees.  This condo also had a home watch person.

Yet another condo with a home watch person had this on their garage wall.

Mold problems can grow quickly if not caught in time.
Mold problems can grow quickly if not caught in time.

Each one of these owners trusted the person they had watching their unit.

People ask me for referrals for home watch services. Home watch services are not licensed in the State of FL.  There is a National Home Watch Association that vets its accredited members for proper insurance, consumer complaints, and truthful website content. They have a list of members for Collier County

There is also a blog article I ran across that talks about questions you should ask your home watch person.  I would also ask a home watch person how often they check the filter in the air handler.  What happens when it has to be replaced?

Dirty Air Filters can cause all sorts of problems.

Dirty Air Filters can cause all sorts of problems.

There are thermostats sold today that allows remote access to the thermostat through a computer, tablet, or smart phone.  You could be up North and be notified if there is an issue with your humidity in your Florida unit. If you are an absentee owner, this type of thermostat combined with an insured home watch person could save you from massive problems down the line.

Thinking of selling a home in Pelican Bay? Call or e-mail me at 239-594-2780 or Lynn@NaplesBuys.com  I’d be happy to discuss how much your home is worth in today’s market.

Looking to buy in Pelican Bay? Click here: HOME FOR SALE.

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About the author:

Lynn Wilber is a Real Estate Professional who lives in Pelican Bay. Her 37 years of real estate experience and her area expertise have been valuable resources to Pelican Bay Sellers and Buyers. For more information, please contact Lynn Wilber via e-mail at Lynn@NaplesBuys.com or call 239-594-2780.

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